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HomeLocalWhat Colorado's ‘Stay-at-Home' order means for parishes

What Colorado’s ‘Stay-at-Home’ order means for parishes

Over the past few weeks, city, county, and state officials have issued public health orders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. On Thursday, March 26, a state-wide Stay-at-Home order went into effect which mandates the people of Colorado to stay at home except for critical activities. This order has now been extended through April 26. 

Here are three things to know about how all the regulations have impacted our parishes.

1. Public Masses have been suspended through at least April 30.  

Due to the statewide stay-at-home order and other similar city orders, the archdiocese has had to extend the suspension of public Masses through April 30.  

This unfortunately includes Palm Sunday, the Triduum and Easter Sunday.  

All Holy Week Masses will still be celebrated privately at the parishes, and many will be live-streamed to the faithfulHoly Week Masses with Archbishop Aquila will be live-streamed as well.  

The Rites of Christian Initiation have been moved to the Pentecost Vigil on May 30.  

NOTE: Archbishop Aquila has dispensed the Christian faithful in the Archdiocese of Denver from the obligation to participate in the Sunday Eucharist until it is deemed safe for large gatherings of the faithful to congregate.  

2. Churches are still open in a limited capacity.  

The public health orders have not forced parishes to completely close or lock their doors.  

At a pastor’s discretion, a minimal staff is still at each parish to ensure essential services and operations continue.  

Parishes are still able to live-stream or record Masses, and offer some sacraments like confession, baptism and marriage, following strict social-distancing and limited-group requirements. (No more than 10 people together).  

Parish-run ministries that serve their communities (food banks, clothing distribution, emergency assistance) are still encouraged to continue, following the guidelines for social distancing, gatherings, etc.   

NOTE: Check with your parish to see how they are operating during this time.  

3. Your parish still needs your support. 

With no weekly collections, parishes are experiencing a sharp decline in donations. 

In the same way people are rallying to support their favorite local restaurant or small business to help them get through this pandemic, we need to support our parishes to make sure they can continue to operate now and for many years to come!  

Please consider supporting your parish with a recurring online donation 

If you are healthy and not in a high-risk groupconsider calling your parish to see if they have any volunteer needs.  

PRAYOur priests, deacons and parish staffs are always in need of your prayers. 

Mark Haas
Mark Haas is the Director of Public Relations for the Archdiocese of Denver.
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